Finding a Place to Park Your RV
Your success at finding a place to park your recreation vehicle (RV) depends on your motoring experience, trip planning, observations, and a little luck. Among the choices available to you are public or private parks―some free and some priced nightly, weekly, monthly, or even seasonally.
Every RV is different, and finding a fit for your camper or motor home depends on what you require for:
- Lot size
If your RV doesn't have any water or sewer storage, then you might need these services. Emptying your tanks on your way out of a parking site is very convenient if the service is available.
Many of you can pass up electrical hookups if your goal is to rough it; yet, if your RV was selected to provide you with all the amenities, then you'll want to be sure you get the right kind of power hookup.
For example, your refrigerator may be stocked and you'll need 220V service to keep it running. If your RV is more basic, then maybe you might only power some lights using 110V service.
RV models can be very elaborate; the length is needed to accommodate all the posh accessories. You should be very knowledgeable about what your long RV requires for site depth―some parks have RV length restrictions.
Across the nation there is public parking available to you and your RV. Finding the public parking can be a challenge. Your observation skills can help you in finding a public site for your RV.
As you are motoring down the interstate or highway, take advantage of the welcome centers. Look for brochures and flyers about public parks and campgrounds. Local store owners and restaurants are also good resources for finding nearby public parks.
Some public parks are run by state employees and funded in part by the state. These public recreation sites are usually equipped with hookups and sanitary pump-out stations. As a rule, the rates are reasonable, too.
You might find a private park that you really like or that was recommended by an RV association or friend. If the park is exclusive, an introduction could be required. When you don't rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, you will have to do more extensive research to find a private park for your RV.
Take advantage of your motoring experience and investigate regions with RV-friendly reputations―mostly rural areas. Other sources of information include the Internet, RV associations, and RV dealers.
Private parks can operate differently than public parks. Park members might pay dues or subscription fees to help maintain benefits like open space, recreation, and infrastructure. Because you become vested in the private park, users tend to revisit season after season.
If you find a private park you really like, in a location you are able to visit often, inquire about long-term rentals. You might even decide to park your RV there year-round, driving in for a long weekend or week's vacation.
Once you have found a place to park your RV, you are faced with the actual task of backing in. You have experience parking your RV at home and probably can fit it in neatly and quickly. Parking your RV in a place you've never been before can be challenging.
Take your time, walk around the site, and ask someone to direct you in. A few passes could be necessary to get just the right position. Every RV site is different and you have to orient to the hookups, neighboring RV, and open space. How you define your temporary space begins with backing in the RV.
As an RV driver you have to remain alert and cautious because driving an RV is different than operating a passenger vehicle. Finding a place to park your RV requires caution, too. Make sure you are parking in a safe place; for example, avoid a flooded parking lot.
Parking rules and expectations apply to your RV. You will want to be sensitive to neighborhoods when pulling into a parking lot; some retailers are happy to host your RV overnight, provided you are respectful to the surrounding community―no loud noise, bright light, or littering.
Whether you are traveling across the country as a newly retired couple or renting an RV for a summer vacation with the kids, you must find a place to park your RV. The quality of your motoring experience will depend, in part, on how much you enjoy your off-road time.
Other Topics in This Section
- Tent or RV Camping
- How To Pull A Trailer
- Pre-trip Maintenance
- How To Map Your Route
- Planning Your Getaway
- RV Handling & Driving Tips
- Finding a Place to Park Your RV
- Getting Off the Beaten Path
- Roadside Attractions: Stopping Along the Way
- How To Reach Your Destination Safely
- How To Buy a Sailboat
- How To Buy a Power Boat
- Vintage Cars and Rallies
- Should You Join a Car Club?
- Fun with ATVs
- Saving Money on the Road
- How to Plan a Road Trip
- Stocking Your RV
- Top Ten Seasonal Scenic Drives
- Traveling With Your Pet
- National Parks
- Hitting the Slopes
- Preparing An Emergency Kit
- Preparing A First-aid Kit
- Crossing the Border
- Gambling Getaways
- Paper Maps and Online Guides
- Guide to GPS
- Wireless Maps on Cell Phones
- Beach Excursion
- Avoiding Road Construction
- Sample Trip Itineraries
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